Argo: The Story behind the Movie

Argo: The Story behind the Movie

Argo, the movie

Argo is one of the most famous and appreciated movies of 2012. Described as a historical drama movie, Argo was co-produced by famous actor Ben Affleck, who also starred in the movie. Its success was amazing since the moment when it was first released, Argo actually winning no less than 3 Academy Awards and two Golden Globe awards. Despite its worldwide fame and recognition, the first question that comes to mind when watching this movie is: is the story real?

Yhe movie is well known to be based on a true story. How much of the fiction is actuallyreplicating the reality? You’ll be surprised, but besides small details, everything is actually true. This might be the main reason why Ben Affleck’s movie has received such a great recognition. The movie presents one of the most horrific stories in the history of US diplomacy. The events occurred in 1979, during the Iranian revolution, when the US embassy was overrun by protesters.

Argo, Embassy members who were rescued from Iran
Photo source:

The Real Plot

The US embassy in Tehran occupied no less than 26 acres. Despite all the revolutionary movements in the city and the impressive dimensions of the embassy, only 13 marines were there to protect it. The consular building was located in the immediate proximity of the embassy, but it had its own door onto the street. When the embassy was occupied and all workers were kept as hostages, 6 people in the consulate managed to escape. They were homed in the residence of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor, at least until CIA prepared a special operation to rescue them. As Americans were hunted down in Iran back then, to be able to take the 6 out of the country, they pretended to be Canadian movie makers.

The End is Dramatic

According to an interview with one of those consulate members, interview published by BBC, the difference between the movie and the reality is that in reality not only the Canadian ambassador received them in, but also another Canadian official, John Sheardown. Mark Lijek told BBC that no one ever asked them if they were willing to go home with the scenery prepared by the CIA. The scene at the end of the movie never happened: no one chased the plane which they took to return to the US. What Ben Affleck did was to add a little drama to the movie.

Real picture of Embassy members saved from Iran
Photo source:

Even though the central story presented in Argo may seem incredible and hard to believe, it is true, except for a few small. The US embassy members were reallyrescued from Iran with fake Canadian passports, pretending to be movie-makers, in a historical event that remained classified in CIA files for several years.

Have you watched Argo? How did you rate it?

Katie Zahel
Written by